The art of being still

It seems my story starts just a couple of months ago.

My little green car sped south down the interstate through the mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. I was on the way to SIM’s U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., for an orientation weekend – and for the first time in almost five years, I felt like I was going somewhere.

After living and working in small-town Grove City, Pa., since 2006 – and at times resenting it – I knew this timing was God’s. I had finally learned what it meant to be still.

I’ve never been very good at it, and I never really had to be. Growing up, I bounced from one thing to another. Early on, I developed a love for storytelling. I soon realized I wanted to be journalist, and pursued every opportunity I had to write during high school and college.

Remember the little green car? Less than a week after graduating from Grove City College in 2004, I packed it to the gills with all of my possessions and moved 1,700 miles west to Sheridan, Wyo., to take a job at a small daily newspaper.

It was both a wonderful and difficult year, but God used it to show me the reality of His grace and His provision. I loved living out West. But doors closed and eventually, I had to leave. So, I packed up my little green car again and headed East. Doors would open later, but it felt like defeat at the time.

I hadn’t yet learned the art of being still.

I went on to work at another daily newspaper in New Hampshire before a job offer from my college’s communications office brought me back to Pennsylvania.  Reporters call PR work “the dark side,” and that’s what it felt like in a way. I fought it. But God was working in me, teaching me the art of waiting.

I began to think about living in Africa. I also felt a pull to practice journalism overseas. I’d always loved to travel. I’d even thought about living abroad before – but it had always been Australia or Spain, with the goal of learning the language or just enjoying a more laid-back culture.

This was different. With each trip overseas, I wanted to know the people and learn their stories. I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t going anywhere. Opportunities seemed to come and go.

Then I heard about SIM.

Missionaries were always a rather holy breed in my mind – which certainly disqualified me. But I realized, maybe my skills are needed just as much as the next person. I applied, and that’s when things began to fall into place. Now, I’m preparing to go to Nairobi, Kenya, to assist with media and help spread the word about SIM’s work in eastern Africa.

Through it all, God was teaching me that stillness is a gift, not a burden. And when the time comes to leave my little green car behind and head  to Africa, I know that it will be the right time, because it’s His.

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3 responses to “The art of being still

  1. Rebecca,
    We are excited for you and to see how the Lord will use you in Kenya! You definitely have “the gift” of communicating in writing!

    Grace & Peace,
    Steve and Ann Lutz

    • Thanks so much for your encouragement! Angie Boehmer and I just traveled out to see Anna Ruth Merritt and were still cracking up about the Louisville wedding story. So funny. (c:

  2. Pingback: Making sense of returning “home.” Sort of. | from the writer's notepad·

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